Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 14- Calf Stretch (Soleus) on 1/2 Foam Roller

Calf Stretch (soleus) on the ½ foam roller

This exercise is a static stretch for the soleus, which is the larger muscle than runs underneath the gastrocnemius and the achilles tendon.  As with all stretches the fascia is affected as much as the muscle and so the soleus is not the sole benefactor of this stretch.  It can also be helpful for the plantar fascia and the gastrocnemius
To do this exercise you will need a half foam roller.  You will place the roller so that the round or rocking part is on the ground.  Then place the ball of your foot on the roller and use the roller to reach your heel to the ground.  Then while maintaining contact with the heel bend the knee.  This will move the stretch from the gastrocnemius to the soleus.  You can increase the stretch by moving the standing foot in front of the foam roller.
Things to watch for:
Sometimes when doing this stretch there can be tension in the front of the ankle.  It is important make sure the range of motion of the ankle is such that this stretch does not cause strain.
Breath and slow movements, Static stretches can be very useful especially when it comes to releasing fascial restrictions.  The breath allows for a calming to continue in the body.  It is a great meditative process as well.  Continue breathing as your feel the stretch!

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